Constitutional Law

Constitutional law is the foundational area where your rights collide with government actors like states, schools, the police, counties and towns. We sue counties, schools, towns and government contractors in the Shenandoah Valley, from Winchester down to Roanoke, as well as in Loudoun, Fairfax, Prince William and Fauquier County.

We can litigate, negotiate, and advise you on parental rights, transgender identity, LGBTQ protections, social services, the police, prison rights, cannabis regulation, free speech, freedom of religion, and abuse of power by states, towns and counties in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and D.C. It is both our pleasure and our honor to advise, defend and protect your liberties as an American.

Issues relating to freedom of speech, defamation, slander, libel, and the free exercise of your religion

Establishment of Religion

1983 Actions

Second Amendment rights

Property rights

Suing towns, counties, and any state actors in Virginia and Maryland

Establishment Clause cases

Parental rights

Education law; and 

General defenses of liberty

Reach Out to Jarvis Law Today

Our Expertise in Constitutional Law

What is the Constitution? Why does the Constitution matter? What effect does it have on your
life? Is it even relevant in the twenty-second century? These are some of the questions we talk about in our office. Our answers to these questions run the gambit, but that’s not why you’re here. If you clicked on this page, you are either curious, which is great, or you have a problem and you need our help (which is at your Service). So let’s talk about what falls into the practice area, constitutional law, and whether or not you might want to reach out to us for legal help.

We handle first Amendment cases. This Amendment protects your right to speak, to worship religion in the way your conscience dictates, and it prevents the federal government from establishing one religion over another. We also handle Fourteenth Amendment cases—for those of you who watch a little television, that refers to “section 1983 cases” where a citizen can sue a state actor for violating their federal “substantive due process rights.” Whoa, what does that mean for you, the consumer who is looking for help? You’ve heard of the Loudoun County school board case where the girl was sexually assaulted by a transgender boy? That case involves establishment of religion when it runs up against nondiscrimination policies (like those that are incorporated in the 14th Amendment). Do we handle this sort of case? Absolutely yes.

With experience finding creative ways to interpret and enforce your rights, and a love of both the practical and the ideology basis of your state and federal Constitution, we will fight with you and for you—to ensure that your inherent rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness are preserved and kept safe.

The Best Constitutional Law Lawyers

over 30 years of law experience

Constitutional Law in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

With bar licensure in four states, and a presence in both the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia, respectively, we can go where Virginians and others need us. We have written Complaints in the Western District of Virginia and also have extensive experience in both the Rocket Docket and elsewhere in the Eastern District of Virginia. 

If you are a parent and your parental rights have been violated, reach out to Jarvis Law. If you are a citizen and you have been wrongfully treated by a Town Council, the police, the state, please contact us. The Bill of Rights should and must protect your liberties. At Jarvis Law, we will fight to defend you.

Amanda Chaillan

Senior Adviser, Business

Amanda Chaillan earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in English from Chapman University in 2008. Her collegiate study focused on intercultural and global relations, including a research semester at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic and a semester of study at Georgetown University, Washington, DC. She also completed an Executive Certificate in Strategic Management from the Harvard Extension School in 2017.

Amanda’s career has always been at the intersection of nonprofits, business and government. Focused on delivering positive impact, she has helped build organizations, develop business strategies and craft messaging that advances the work of visionaries and leaders that are shaping the world. She played a critical role in marketing and practice integration for the energy sector group of a global law firm, led engagement with legal counsel and the Board of Directors to establish and facilitate strategic planning for the launch of a water-focused nonprofit, and has led program teams addressing a range of corporate social responsibilities (CSR) issues.  

Amanda brings her business acumen and operational expertise to every engagement, drawing on her particular strengths in stakeholder engagement, program development and storytelling. She is committed to continuing to build a career of service and working to make a positive impact on the world.

Tarra Smeltzer

Office Manager

Tarra Smeltzer has constructed a career that builds on her passion for personal wellness and strong business ethics. She brings a big heart and incredible attention to detail to every role she takes on. Whether it’s supporting customers or working with colleagues, she is a doer and fixer, helping manage cases, fostering a collaborative culture and trouble-shooting operational and legal issues.

With more than 30 years of customer service experience, Tarra manages the trial and team schedules and coordinates office operations to deliver the best outcomes for Jarvis clients. She also brings research skills and issue experience in the areas of real estate, consumer and family law.

Tarra is a vital member of the Jarvis team, and a caring champion of clients. In her free time she enjoys hiking in the Shenandoah Valley, reading and spending time with her loving family.

Madeline Farris


A student at the College of William & Mary, Madeline Farris is a Classics Major who plans to follow in the footsteps of Mrs. Jarvis as a lawyer and an author. Ever since the age of 12, Madeline has been writing: with six complete novels, Madeline is determined to publish her work, but she loves her work at Jarvis Law, where she is able to crack fascinating cases and help good people. Madeline figures in a leadership position in her campus’s Unitarian Universalist ministry, and also works at the Williamsburg Unitarian Universalist Church as the Childcare Coordinator.

Madeline has experience in the nonprofit and legal aid sectors: she worked with Mrs. Jarvis as Mrs. Jarvis’s intern while Mrs. Jarvis was still a staff attorney at Blue Ridge Legal Services, and also worked with Valley Assistance Network from 2019-2020 as an intern, where she was able to help connect struggling people with necessary resources.

Madeline is also the stepdaughter of a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), so she is studying to obtain her light sport pilots license, for as Leonardo Da Vinci once said, “Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”

Madeline’s favorite areas of law are family, consumer protection, and business law. She enjoys finding odd solutions to difficult problems, and assisting wonderful souls in a world that is sometimes unforgiving and cruel. Madeline’s hobbies include playing the clarinet, taking long walks in nature, and talking to her vivacious pet goldfish, Bertie.

Joshua Smeltzer


Joshua Smeltzer obtained a Bachelor of Science in Philosophy from James Madison University in 2022, following his service with the U.S. Army. He is a compassionate and committed public servant building a career that draws on his strong communication, research and management skills.

Josh seeks out opportunities that require critical thinking and creative solutions to address the complex challenges faced by clients. As a lead researcher, he dives deep into an issue to inform the legal strategy of the Jarvis team. He has led research on legal issues including consumer law, real estate, family law and estate planning.

Josh is a dedicated family man and proud member of the Shenandoah Valley community. In his free time, Josh enjoys physical activities and indulging in a new book.

Elaine Jarvis

Elaine Jarvis obtained her law degree from the Marshall Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary in 1997. She practiced law in D.C. and Northern Virginia for several years, obtaining experience in litigation, antitrust, mergers & acquisitions, bankruptcy and contract law. She put the practice of law on hold for a bit to raise three children and run multiple businesses, with a focus on publishing and helping non-profits. Over the course of a decade, Elaine wrote ten novels and built a social media following of more than 50,000 people with her page and blog, Running from Hell with El. Her first two novels, Ripple: a Tale of Hope and Redemption and I Run: a Novel won awards and hit Amazon bestseller’s list at #1 and #2.

In 2015, Elaine moved from Fairfax County to the mountains of Front Royal and found her love for the practice of law rekindled. She joined Blue Ridge Legal Services, Inc. (BRLS) in Winchester, where she helped low-income clients in Frederick County, Clarke County, Front Royal, Shenandoah and Page County–and all parts in between. These clients faced legal issues in consumer law, bankruptcy, landlord/tenant, and estate planning. At BRLS, Elaine counted success as roofs kept over heads and clients saved from overwhelming threats to their survival. Leaving BRLS and her office mates was hard, but being able to help folks in Northern Virginia, Manassas, Winchester, the Valley and of course Front Royal while also focusing on complex fact patterns, small businesses, and aggrieved consumers makes for a journey into an exciting future. Elaine’s outside interests include writing, flying airplanes, hiking, adventuring, gardening and piloting things that go fast and land gently. She enjoys running and traveling from mountain to ocean and just about anywhere in between—as long as she can escape the city. She welcomes people from all faith traditions, ethnic backgrounds, genders, and personal belief systems to her practice.